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Saturday, July 28, 2007

We Wuz First...Mostly.

Okay. So here's the deal.

Yes, New Orleans Mardi Gras is a great deal of fun. Yes, it is the nation's premier celebration of most of the seven deadly sins. Yes, if you show them, odds are they will throw them.

HOWEVER.

For the record, and I'm sorry Nawlineans but y'all know we Mobile folks do get going on this topic...

...we wuz first. Mostly. French settlers had likely been celebrating here and there, hither and yon, and probably at "Pointe du Mardi Gras" (est. 1699), but it would not have been the parading/trinket throwing/revelry in the streets sort of affair we now know. So: same name, different party.

In 1704, Mobile was made the capital of French Louisiana. Shortly thereafter, organized Mardi Gras celebrations begin. In, ahem, Mobile.

Skip ahead to 1831, where the Cowbellion de Rakin society forms...in Mobile...founded, no less, by a Pennsylvanian. (He died of yellow fever shortly thereafter, of course.) They paraded on New Years, and in 1852 began organizing Mardi Gras balls. So: parades, just a little early. And Mardi Gras balls.

1856: Parading Cowbellions move to New Orleans, and begin parading on New Years. A year later, another group of Mobile Cowbellions (and some of the Strikers Independent Society) move to New Orleans and help start the Krewe of Comus, who then started themed parades, the whole "Krewe" thing, and various modern Mardi Gras traditions.

So, to be fair, fully modern organized Mardi Gras coalesced in New Orleans, sure. But the parading society and the Mardi Gras ball started a few miles to the east, is all I'm saying.

*cough*andyourfirstcreweswereallrunbymobileexpats*cough*

I'm not sure who started the whole "You Show 'Em," thing, though I'm thinking it was probably y'all. But...uh...we have moonpies! And, um, far less vomit.

In closing, I guess we can share.

With much love,

your cousin Mobile

4 comments:

Abzdragon said...

That was really interesting. I have only been to Mardi Gras in Austin, TX lol! I so love New Orleans tho... especially the French Quarter. Your cause is awesome! :) Keep blogging! It's 1 AM here! 7 More Hours!

Brady said...

Austin? Really? Huh.

Thanks for the kind words...seven...more...hourrzzzzz... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Jaynee said...

*lol* My husband and I love N'awlins. We've been there on multiple occasions. And the husband took a business trip to Mobile and he really liked that city too, although he wasn't so sure it would ever be a true vacation destination like N'awlins. But he said the city definitely had a lot of offer.

Brady said...

The vacation traveler to Mobile must be well-researched and willing to go off the beaten path, or else it will be kind of boring. (I mean, Fort Condi and the Battleship are cool and all, and if you're into flowers there's always Bellingrath Gardens, but there's much more interesting stuff out and about. Like, there's ghosts and stuff.) But it's very restful, and you will eat like a king.